“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.”
– Charles Dudley Warner
Ok, I immediately feel a bit bad for labeling this place in such a limiting way. Goa is so much more than this. But to tell you where I’m coming from.
Three things you immediately notice after your arrival are:
The weather! If you are coming from Delhi which already is quite hot, get ready for some hot heavy air, and Monica’s hair. The air contains so much humidity it is honestly hard to breathe in the beginning, but you get used to is soon. I mean you are in Goa, what else do you want? And of course, the closer you get to the water, the more wind gets to bless your soul.
The Portuguese vibe! This land actually used to be a Portuguese territory till very recently, when 1961 Portugal lost this heavenly place to India. I’m sure you understand the different vibe which comes from the status of a seaside area. But Goa is literally totally different from anywhere else I have been in India. It does not look Indian at all! The wild nature compliments the super colorful Portuguese big villas. On a five minute road, you will literally see every possible screaming color from yellow to purple. The whole place will give you a very nice chilled and happy feeling. So will the people you get to meet in here. They come here mainly to relax. To go lay on the beach, by the pool, eat good food and to enjoy…
The parties! You can literally dance anywhere but we were in the center of the fuss. We chose to go up north and stayed in a place called Antares which again is not one of those super fancy resorts which Goa is otherwise full of, but offers a perfect location if you wanna get wild because all the good spots are close by. (Read: close by in Indian scale, so like 30 minutes).
Right next to us was a place called Thalassa which was packed every night, and especially on Friday of course when the place turned into a hybrid so while we were enjoying our calamari, people were twerking around our table to the point my friend sent me to the dance floor because he saw the rush of endorphins I got and could not stay still. Little tip: Make a reservation! And eat the calamari, please.
As always I got to meet many awesome people so that night I met a few amazing women and then all of us headed to another party which was “nearby”. It is that easy to make friends in there, but beware because some people can be actually sleazy and people also meet there and randomly hook up so make sure you make it straight clear that you just wanna dance.
If you want to enjoy something cozier, I would suggest going to the Hopping Frog. It is a small place with very nice people and live concerts. Totally worth it if you are one of those cool people that just like to go and chill.
If you are a fancy soul, go to the beach bar at the W hotel. The place looks amazing, you get to sit on a cliff enjoying your drink while you watch the night sea washing off the shore.
During the day and especially during sunsets you must visit La Plage and right next to it a brand new place called Lever! I mean that place was just unbelievable, had an awesome food and the ambiance along with the sunset from my spot gave me so much inspiration!
There at the beach, I got a massage for fifteen minutes and a girl that was probably 15 years old painted my arm with henna while telling me a bit of her story. Yes, I asked a lot of questions. I was so impressed, humbled, and sad she could speak Russian besides other skills and was a very smart girl yet didn’t even have a chance to go to school.
That beach is always gonna remain in my mind as one of the Holy spots for me because I walked along the coastline for an hour, then sat on a beautifully curved stone and just connected with something much higher than I am. We all seem to forget that the biggest inspiration always comes from nature. But right there right then I was reminded in a very gentle way. I kept looking around perceiving all this miracle around and how I could contribute and I thought of the words of my hero Gary V: “You are a human being, you just won a fucking lottery.”
On some beaches, like the one down our hotel, I would not go to take a swim, and I for sure would not take off my clothes because there were some creepsters around. But the beach next to the Lever was full of people enjoying and no one seemed suspicious.
Also, borrow a scooter and make sure to always park it somewhere in the shadow so the day after when you sit on the hell hot black seat it doesn’t burn your most powerful ASSet.